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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A powerful bomb exploded inside a Shiite Muslim mosque in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday, killing more than 30 worshippers and wounding dozens more, many of them critically, police said.
Local police official Waheed Khan said the explosion occurred as worshippers had collected in the Kucha Risaldar mosque in Peshawar’s old city for Friday prayers. Ambulances rushed through congested narrow streets carrying the wounded to Lady Reading Hospital, where doctors worked feverishly.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, but both the Islamic State group and a violent Pakistani Taliban organization have carried out similar attacks in the region, located near the border with neighboring Afghanistan.
Shayan Haider, a witness, had been preparing to enter the mosque when a powerful explosion threw him to the street.
“I opened my eyes and there was dust and bodies everywhere,” he said.
At the Lady Reading Hospital Emergency department, there was chaos as doctors struggled to move the many wounded into operating theaters.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the bombing.
In majority Sunni Muslim Pakistan, minority Shiite Muslims have come under repeated attacks.